Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Chinoiserie; a French term, meaning "Chinese-esque", reflecting Chinese artistic influences, it is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China. It is generally asymmetrical and has contrasts of scale. In order to err on the side of brevity, furnishings get the spotlight today, but chinoiserie is found in fabrics, wallcoverings, lighting, accessories and tableware.

The surprising contrast of the mid-century lines of this 1950's Italian buffet with a chinoiserie center panel. Available at Gary Rubinstein Antiques through 1st dibs.

Technically not chinoiserie, but displaying a more modern vibe, the Diana Credenza by Jean de Merry.

With beautiful fretwork about the legs and feet, and lovingly hand-applied decoration after a circa 1690 original, the Chinoiserie Cabinet on Stand by Elijah Slocum.

After a late 16th c. Kakeban style tray table, the elegantly simple Chow Table from Erica Brunson, with tete d'negre crackled lacquer finish.

Asian fusion with raised decoration and hand-tooled leather writing surface, the Waxed Chinoiserie Desk by Century Furniture.

An extraordinary, truly one of a kind example is the Regency Chinoiserie Cabinet, circa 1820's England. Both the interior and exterior are pictured, as the example of both polychrome and monochrome penwork is exceptional. Available at Kentshire Galleries, Ltd.

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